California Region

Mission Advancement Egram

June 23, 2021
One Heart. One Hope. One Mission. 
...thank you for being our partner in mission!
Dear Friends,

How exciting it has been to move into some normality with the COVID restrictions downgraded! Indeed, we are discovering an abundance of graces--especially perspective and wisdom--that we received during the pandemic. How often we hear "life will never be the same." In some ways, that is certainly for the better.

Some SNDs and Associates gathered for fellowship on June 5 and June 19 at a local park--just to be together. These simple events confirmed our joy in friendship. Isolation and an overdose of Zoom have reawakened the friendship and community spirit that Christ taught and promoted. As our partners in mission, we hope and pray that each of you also experience the blessings of community with each new day.

Very gratefully,
Sr. Lisa Megaffin, S.N.D.
Director of Mission Advancement Services

PS--Are you interested in becoming an Associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame? Please send me an email so we can chat!
SND Associate Jim Ford hears the end-of-the-school-year stories of Sr. Shawn Marie Doyle, faculty member at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Oxnard. Also pictured in the background is SND Associate Joan Fisher.
...another COVID shutdown!
In the photo to the right, Sr. M. Sunday Kusmererwa teaches the meaning of vegetation to her students. From the very beginning of the mission in Uganda, the SNDs looked forward to training educators for the poor children of the area. This article is adapted from a message written by Sr. M. Christine Syombua, East Africa Delegation Superior.

Each year we hold a Teacher Training program (TTC) for the young SNDs in East Africa. This apostolic orientation prepares them for teaching, as well as sharing the SND mission. Our 2021 TTC program was to start on June 22 in Nairobi, Kenya. Normally the group begins their training there and then proceeds to Buseesa, Uganda. Little did we know that this was not going to work for us this year!

On June 6, Uganda’s president declared that the schools had to close immediately because of increasing COVID cases. The public transportation would continue until June 9. We had only three days to assess and act, but it was a blessing because at least we had some time to reorganize our programs and gather SNDs from all parts of East Africa.

The travel restrictions and expenses were so taxing! So, for this year the TTC group will not go to Nairobi. They will stay in Buseesa until the end of November.

As I write now, all the sisters are settled, in and the training is going well. For me this is a great miracle! Calling sisters to move from one country to another within that short time was not an easy task. But by God’s grace it worked perfectly because every sister became involved in these new arrangements. Thank you for being our partners in the awesome ministry of education for the children of East Africa.
...honoring the next generation of SND witnesses
Special congratulations to the young men and women who recently received the Notre Dame Distinguished Graduate Award. Sponsored by the SND National Sponsorship and Network Office, here are the graduates from local SND sponsored or affiliated schools who:

  • Value their relationship with God and strive to live the Gospel
  • Have worked to their ability and challenged themselves academically
  • Express God's goodness and provident care for all through service and outreach.

Taylor Melton * La Reina High School & Middle School, Thousand Oaks
Megan Pena and Kathryn Syta * Notre Dame Academy, Los Angeles
Shelby M. * Notre Dame Academy Elementary, Los Angeles
Joseph Kiet Tuan Nguyen * Our Lady of the Assumption, Ventura
James Granillo and Zoe Zamudio * St. Helen Catholic School, South Gate
Kayla Jarra and Preston Smart * St. Jude the Apostle School, Westlake Village
Keith Sauers * St. Mary Magdalen School, Camarillo
Madeline Salvador * St. Pius-St. Matthias Academy, Downey
Follow this link to learn more about the SND National Sponsorship and Network Office.
NDA Grad Finds Peace
through Faith Formation

Joselin Ordoñez-Garcia, salutatorian of her class, admitted that COVID-19 restrictions made her first semester as a senior stressful and worried about college acceptance.

The first in her family to finish high school, Joselin attended Catholic elementary and middle school, but credits the faith formation she received at NDA with helping her surmount the obstacles of an unpredictable final year.

“At Notre Dame, I learned more about my faith and different types of prayers that I can incorporate into my personal life. Those moments also gave me time to reflect on my own actions and myself in general. Over this time, it was difficult to find a quiet time when I could just let go of all of my stress and worries, but I was able to find that peace during my prayer time.”

“I feel that my relationship with God and my faith became stronger throughout this period of my life, and that relationship is something that I want to continue to strengthen.” Joselin, a native of Los Angeles, will soon begin her major in neuroscience at the University of Southern California, just a few blocks from home.
Adapted from a profile of Catholic high school graduates in Angelus
What do Millennials, Xennials, Gen X and Gen Z have in common?
They are all a part of SND USA Young Adult Ministry! Watch Sr. Valerie Roxburgh, Sr. Kelley Rush, and Sr. Ruth Lubbers discuss the different generations and how SNDs have connected with, quite literally, thousands of young people this past year.

In the photo to the left, Sr. Valerie Roxburgh, Sr. Anncarla Costello and Sr. Laura Marie Kane share a festive laugh.